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Mobile Source Emission Control Programs in Delaware


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The Division of Air Quality protects human health and the environment by regulating air pollution from motor vehicles and engines. The Division promotes travel choices that minimize emissions. The "mobile sources that are controlled in this program" include cars, light trucks, heavy trucks, and buses, non-road engines, equipment, and vehicles. The Division's and other jurisdictional mobile source programs include:


Delaware Municipalities with Anti-idling Ordinances:
- City of Newark
- Wilmington (Section 37-6)

Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicle Anti-idling Program: Vehicles that weigh over 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight are restricted to engine idling time of no more than three minutes. This is further explained in Regulation 1145. For more information please see the Anti-idling Regulation brochure.

.School Bus Anti-Idling:
Brandywine School District participates in the Clean School Bus USA grant program, retrofitting 90 school buses with emission control technology.

Clean Vehicles & Fuels

Biodiesel: Biodiesel fuel is in use by DelDOT heavy duty diesel trucks and DNREC Parks and Recreation maintenance tractors. Heavy duty vehicles manufactured in 2007 are required to comply with EPA 2007 engine and fuel standards reducing particulate matter by 90 percent. Using the Department of Energy's Alternate Fuel Locator, drivers can type in their address and search for nearby stations.

Clean Cities Coalition: Clean Cities is a deployment program within the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) Vehicle Technologies (VT) program.  Clean Cities deploys the technologies developed through VT. Delaware's program links these technologies to users across our state, and works to advance the economic, environmental, and energy security in Delaware by reducing the use of petroleum in the transportation sector. Clean Cities provides a framework to develop a strategic program plan and create partnerships throughout our State that work to reduce our dependence on petroleum.

Clean Fuel Standard: On Jan. 5, 2009, Delaware and 10 other Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states announced their committment to developing a regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissionsfrom fuels for vehicles and other uses. 

A Low Carbon Fuel Standard is a market-based, technology neutral to policy to address the carbon content of fuels by requiring reductions in the average lifecycle greenhouse gas per unit of useful energy. Such a standard is potentially applicable not only in transportation, but also for fuel used for heating buildings, for industrial processes, and for electricity generation.

Developing a low carbon fuel standard for application regionally is a logical next step in our strategic work with other states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Diesel Reduction Program 
Since 2008, Delaware has participated in the National Clean Diesel Campaign through its funding to install clean diesel technology. These technologies include emissions and idle control devices (Smyrna Rest Area, Truck Stop Electrification facility ), aerodynamic equipment, engine and vehicle replacements, and alternative fuel options. Projects have included:

  • Port of Wilmington
    • Diesel Oxidation Catalysts on two ship-to-shore cranes
    • Engine replacements on four product-loading vehicles
  • Wilmington Tug – two propulsion engine replacements
  • School bus retrofits - diesel particulate filters and/or closed crank case ventilation equipment on 56 buses
  • Municipal Public Works Vehicles - diesel particulate filters on 32 trucks
  • DelDOT vehicles - diesel particulate filters on 37 dump trucks
  • DelDOT vehicles – replaced a street sweeper
  • DNREC Fort Delaware replaced two piston generators with a micro-turbine generator
  • Smyrna Rest Area - created 24 electrified parking spaces

Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative
Delaware participates in MARAMA (Mid-Atlantic Region Air Management Association) Alternative Power Unit grant program, which provides funds to small business trucking companies to purchase alternative power units.

Inspection and Maintenance
The Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program is a mandatory control measure to help the State of Delaware to reach attainment with meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. Under the I/M program, vehicles undergo emissions testing in conjunction with a safety inspection or when a change of ownership occurs. By requiring that vehicles with excess emissions to be repaired and maintained, the I/M emission testing program is a meaningful element of Delaware's State Implementation Plan (SIP) to meet federal air quality standards.

The I/M program inspection schedule is biennial, requiring vehicles to pass safety and emission inspections once every other year. The inspections are performed at no charge to the vehicle owner. The first seven model years (i.e. 2011 and newer vehicles) are exempt from the I/M program in any given year.  Motor vehicle emissions tests are performed on all gasoline and diesel powered light-duty vehicles weighing up to 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight at the  Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles Inspection Facilities. Any vehicle identified with excess emissions is required to be repaired before vehicle registration or renewal is obtained from DMV.

Updates to Regulation 1126 and 1131

Auto Emission Testing:

Certified Emission Repair Technicians:

Delaware's Low Emission Vehicle Program
By adopting California's motor vehicle emission vehicle standards, Delaware joined a growing number of states, currently at 14 (including the District of Columbia), committed to reducing the pollution from motor vehicles. These standards became effective in Delaware for model year 2014 vehicles, significantly reducing a number of emissions including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). The VOC reduction achieved from this program is expected to be greater than the existing federal standards. Delaware Low Emission Vehicle Program 

Annual Reporting: (Vehicle Fleet Average Emission Reports) may be submitted to the following address:
 DNREC Division of Air Quality
 Attn: Valerie Gray
 State Street Commons
 100 W. Water Street  
 Suite 6A
 Dover, DE 19904

Or via email to

Mobile Source Air Toxics Standard (MSATS) (see 40 CFR Part 80, Subparts J and L). 
MSATS reduces hazardous air pollutants, also known as air toxics. Air toxics include benzene and other hydrocarbons such as 1,3-butadiene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acrolein, and naphthalene. These are national requirements that require each refinery and importer to meet specific compliance baselines for conventional and reformulated gasoline.

Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) (see 40 CFR Part 80, Subpart D).
RFG was mandated by Section 211(k) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) for metropolitan areas with the worst smog beginning in 1995.  This includes New Castle and Kent County Delaware; and Sussex County which was opted in by the Governor in 1993.  RFG is blended to burn more cleanly than conventional gasoline, reducing emissions of ozone-forming and toxic pollutants. About 30 percent of the gasoline sold in the U.S. is subject to RFG requirements.

Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) (see 40 CFR Part 80, Subpart B ((80.27)).
RVP requirements are designed to reduce the volatility of commercial gasoline during the summer ozone control season, and apply nationwide.  Summertime (i.e., June 1 to Sept. 15) RVP is 9.0 in all attainment areas, 9.0 in northern nonattainment areas (including Delaware and to the north) and 7.8 in southern nonattainment areas. Note that although these RVP requirements apply to both RFG and conventional gasoline, the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions performance standards in RFG effectively require lower RVP levels.

Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) (see 40 CFR Part 80, Subpart M).
RFS requires that transportation fuel sold in the U.S. contain a minimum volume of renewable fuel. The RFS applies to any refiner or importer of gasoline within the 48 contiguous states. Refiners have substantially met the RFS requirements to date by adding 10 percent ethanol to gasoline.

Transportation & Climate Initiative
The Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI) is a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions that seeks to develop the clean energy economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. 

Other Mobile Source Programs:

Mobile Source Links:

For more information, please contact:

Valerie Gray
(302) 739-9402

Revised: 5/24/18

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